Making traveling with pets easier
The challenge
To add a new feature into Turkish Airlines website based on my own user research where users can find pet suitable flights.
The goal
An intuitive website that people can use to book flights for themselves and their pets without contacting the airlines. Make it easy for users to prepare for their flight.
The process
The process was to take full ownership of the various roles involved in designing a product, define who the end-user is and its goals, then plan how the product would function via the user flows as well as conducting usability studies, after that wireframing and mock up phases and iterating on designs.
3 weeks
Scope
UX UI designer
Solo Project
My role
Team
Why Turkish Airlines?
At the time of working on this case study, lots of foreigners and locals decided to leave Russia and take their pets with them. Traveling with pets is hard in general (emotionally and physically) and there are not many airlines that can fly into and from Russia in 2022, so pet owners were basically only left with Turkish Airlines.

I myself went through this process and it took me a long time as well as a lot of frustration, I saw fellow expats struggle too and that made me want to improve the website's User Experience design. The main goal was to focus on the users, make it much simpler for them to be sure their beloved pets can go to the next destination with them.
( I conducted this research in English and Russian languages but I will only upload my findings in English )
Screenshots taken on a few different Facebook groups.
User Research: summary
I conducted user and market research to understand the users I'm designing for and their needs. A primary user group identified through research was working adults that have animals that they cannot leave behind, mostly aged from 23 to 70 years old. From the secondary research I conducted I could see that people think highly of Turkish Airlines.
But there was also a lot of misunderstanding as well as frustration. People didn't really know how to get flights for their pets and some people spent hours in the office and some spent hours trying to get through the hotline.

This research basically proved Facebook comments that it is very hard to find useful information on the current website and even if you manage to find it, it is hard to read / find the info that you need.
I also conducted a Guerilla research at the airport when traveling with my dog. I asked 2 strangers to go through the original website and see if they will be able to understand how to travel with the dog with Turkish Airlines.
Pain points
The main pain point can be found in the summary above but I also found some other flaws.
Search
People do not know what flights are "pet-friendly", now they need to call the hotline, then book a ticket and then call again to confirm.

Time
Working adults do not want to spend their free time to wait in queues or on the phone just to get their animals on the flight.



Screens
Some screens could have been changed. Navigation bar and everything else should be easy to understand by any user.


Visual design
In some places the website seems to be hard to understand, Red color buttons appear to be "warning" for some users.

I created multiple personas based on the users I interviewed and narrowed it down through out the design process. George was/is a face on Turkish Airlines' target user and visualizes various aspects of users' behavior and motivations.



Problem statement: George is a busy manager who needs a new, faster way of booking flights for himself and his pet because he doesn't have enough time to spend hours on the phone or standing in the lines.


Persona of Turkish Airlines user
Mapping George's user journey revealed how helpful it would be for users to be able to reserve a spot for the pet online.
User journey map
The goal was to compare the user experience of some other airlines' websites and to learn what features work best for travelers with pets.

Feedback from this audit
As Turkish Airlines is known as a great company to trust your pets to and it is not considered to be expensive, with an updated section on the website, company will have more clients because it will be easy for them to control all the information online.
Some opportunities for this website redo include:
● Show what flights have space for pets
● Reserve space for pets in cabin or in hold online
● Add a program for frequent flying pets
● Rethink the cost policy as other companies seem to charge much less ($200 at Etihad)
● Have pet travel success stories on the website for users to build trust
Competitive audit
My main goal was to complete this research and redesign fast and efficiently by not making many changes to the design of the website, but just simply adding a couple of features.
The primary user flow below – booking a flight for a person and its pet as well as learning some info about traveling with pets.
High-fidelity prototype
To test the user experience of the actual design and this redesign, I conducted 3 rounds of usability studies with a few people that own pets and consider traveling with them. I asked them to perform a few predefined tasks on the current website, then on a high-fidelity prototype I created and then again after iterating.

Findings from the 1st usability study helped us understand the main problems of the Turkish Airlines website when it comes to traveling with pets.

The 2nd usability study results showed improvement as users felt much more confident when learning about Pet Travel and booking tickets, although there were some things that I still needed to iterate on ( in most cases people who travel with pets travel for a longer period of time so it is important for them to know how big/small their baggage can be).

The 3rd study seemed to work great.
Red is the information about the current website. Green is about the redesign.
  • Find the information about how to book a pet ticket
  • Find the information about what you need to prepare for the flight
  • Find out how much it is to travel with a 15 kg dog
  • Check how many kg you are allowed to take with
  • From the home screen, find flights that are available for pet travel, add a 15 kg dog to your flight
Usability study: findings
Round 1 findings (original website)
1
Users got lost in the information found on the website, they saw a lot of text and it was very hard to read.
2
Users had no idea how to go about booking a ticket for their pet, what dates were still available and how much it was.

3
Users didn't know how much baggage / carry on they could have, they needed to spend extra time to find out.

Choosing a flight
Additional Services
Home screen
There are some ideas for the website redesign and my thinking process.
Mockups

This redesign shows that animal owners feel much more at ease when it comes to booking a flight now. A lot of animals might be left behind and the problem of stray dogs is a big problem everywhere so if there is a detailed and at the same time easy way of explaining what and how to fly pets, people and animals will be happier.

One quote from a participant of the usability study:
" I love it how there is this reassurance that things will be alright with your pet on basically every page, traveling with a dog for the first time is very stressful so it is really what I need!"

This project was really exciting. After struggling as a user myself, I had no other idea but to improve the whole experience. During usability studies, I have learnt a lot from my participants, they gave me a lot of feedback about how they see the current website and what other things I needed to change in my own version of it. I also learnt a lot about different airline companies as well as stories of people traveling with pets. It was very fascinating!



Thank you for your time reviewing my work on the redesign of Turkish Airlines pet traveling version! If you'd like to see more or get in touch, my contact information is provided below.


Email: alexandraousasha@gmail.com
Website: https://shuttersmile.me/ux-home



What I learned:
Impact
Thank you!